Advent is a time of preparation as we wait to celebrate the coming of Christ. It’s a special season and the perfect time to start new family traditions! These traditions will help your family spend time together and focus on the real meaning of the season.
Create an Advent Wreath
Advent is about joyful waiting and prayerful preparation, so choose traditions that have these characteristics. One of the most meaningful traditions you can begin is making an Advent wreath. Place four candles — three purple candles and one pink candle — on top of a wreath. Then, add a white candle to the center. These candles represent the preparation and joy we feel as we await the birth of Jesus.
On the first Sunday of Advent, light a purple candle, On the second Sunday, in addition, light a second purple candle. Light the rose candle along with the purple candles on the third week, and the fourth, light all four candles. Finally, light the white candle on Christmas Eve or Christmas day. Each week pray together as a family.
Remind your children that the evergreen used in the wreath (even if it’s a fake wreath) represents the everlasting life Jesus has given us and that the holly branches represent the crown of thorns He wore on the cross.
If you’re worried that your children are missing the true meaning of Christmas, display a Nativity scene! The set doesn’t have to be fancy, especially if you have little children or rambunctious pets. Many stores sell sturdy plastic figurines that won’t shatter if they fall. Arrange the Nativity on a high-visibility surface in your house, and encourage your children to play with it by acting out the Christmas story. This will help them imagine what it must have been like to be a part of the original story!
Pay it Forward
Another way to combat a Santa-saturated Christmas is to start a tradition of giving to others. This will look different for every family! You could share your financial resources with a family in your community who is in need (ask a local homeless shelter, food pantry, or the guidance counselor at your child’s school for ideas), or you could give your time by volunteering with a local ministry. Place a priority on giving in whichever way your family chooses.
And finally, make it a daily habit to practice the spirit of Advent during December. Let your children use their artistic talent to create an Advent calendar. Assign a different Scripture verse or passage to each day, and every morning, read and meditate on the passage. Creating a discussion with your children around Scripture and the true meaning of Christmas is the best way to celebrate Advent.
For more than 50 years, the Catholic schools in Orlando have been helping children grow to their fullest potential and become leaders within their communities. We offer unique and dynamic learning environments that engage students and encourage them to become confident and responsible adults. To learn more about what makes us different, contact us today.